What we believe can either limit us or expand our horizons.
For most of my life, my limiting beliefs kept me very small, contained in living a mundane and uninspired life.
From elementary school to high school I was not a stellar student. I still have all of my report cards (thank you mom) which showed me to be average or below average in most subjects. I was conditioned to believe that I was not smart enough, I was not very capable, and I didn’t have whatever it would take to be successful.
When I graduated from high school at age 17 with the minimum requirements, I had no hope of higher education. I did not know what I wanted to do, I had no plan of action for the rest of my life.
When I was 18, I participated in a Lions Club International, exchange program (my dad had been a Lions Club member since I was a toddler).
In this exchange program, I was sent to Japan for six weeks, to help with relationship building with a Lions Club there. This was my first time away from home and family in a country that did not speak English. At that time long-distance calls were exorbitantly expensive, there were no Internet or cell phones so communication was mostly restricted to snail mail.
I was truly on my own for the first time, living with a Japanese family with limited English. Talk about pushing out of comfort zones.
Some of my duties included giving presentations in both English and Japanese (I had help from a translator) and I did my best not to bungle my short Japanese presentation.
I met the mayor and other dignitaries, learned a lot about bowing and respect and cultural norms. I was totally fascinated that you could buy beer out of the machine! I was very dismayed by what I felt was women slaving and catering to men and being subservient, it was an eye-opening experience for a young Canadian woman.
What I realize now, although I didn’t realize it then, was how comfortable and competent I was speaking. Public Speaking is often considered the number one fear for most people, and for some reason, I did not have this limiting belief.
My time away allowed me to conquer some of my limiting beliefs that I was not smart or capable. I decided to become a teacher, I had to go back and upgrade all of my high school courses to apply for university.
As the trajectory of my life carried forward, becoming a professional speaker and inspiring others to live an outrageously happy life is my mission.